Sunday, October 24, 2010


In early October Luke and I took a trip to my home state of Ohio for a wedding and family visit. We left Olive in the good hands of our friends who also have a Berner from the same breeder - Nola. We had a great time knowing that Olive was being well taken care of and enjoying the company of her fur-friend Nola.

We had wonderfully sunny and unseasonably warm weather in Ohio. I took the chance to show Luke where I gew up and went to school. We went to Wittenberg, and Young's Jersey Dairy and Yellow Springs. Luke got to try my favorite pizza - Cassano's and Skyline Chili of course.
Here we are at my parents' house with their dog Maverick. I wish Olive and Mav could meet and play together.
Beth's wedding reception... It was nice for Luke to meet a few more of my college freinds.

The trip to Ohio was great; but we were SO excited to be home and to see Olive of course! It wouldn't be long before Olive and Nola were together again, as we watched her the following weekend while our friends were visiting with their family.

I was excited to have Nola for the weekend. She's such a beautiful and sweet dog. I (half) jokingly say that I wan't another dog and this weekend would be a chance for me to see what it would actually be like with two.
The girls have an iteresting relationship. Olive LOVES Nola and Nola tolerates Olive. They got along well but I could tell that Olive wanted to romp and wrestle but Nola was not having any of that. Overall, she proved to be a calming influence for Olive. They ride quite well in the car together, although after loading in 170 lbs of Berner there really isn't room for much else.

Olive was able to teach Nola how to use the doggy-door.

We took advantage of a gloriously sunny Saturday to take the girls to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island, so they could pick out their perfect pumpkins. There were loads of other people there who had the same idea. But we made the best of it and got some cute photos of the girls. Olive is growing! In my eyes she's still just a pup but then I look at this picture and see that she is almost as big as Nola (4 yrs ans 100lbs)! Olive weighed in at 72.4 pounds at the vet recently and she's on her way to being all grown up. So much for that 15 lb ball of fuzz.

We loved having 2 Berners for the weekend, however I think I am good with just having Olive for now. Although, Olive loves the company of other dogs; I'm not sure our bed is big enough for 4.

Long Overdue

It's been too long since my last update; and much has taken place. I left off with Olive's first camping trip and I will pick up with the (tidal?) wave of events that followed.

So, the camping trip was mainly a bust with Luke's stomach bug and all; but we would soon learn that Olive had a bug of her own. Yes, our fur baby brought home fleas. I don't know why, but I never thought to treat Olive preventatively for fleas. I didn't think they were an issue up here in the NW. Boy was I wrong. We apparently have the perfect climate for the blood-sucking little insects and Olive proved to be a delicious host. By the time I realized that her (seemingly normal) itching and scratching was not so normal - it was too late. Although I treated Olive and the house thoroughly to eradicate the fleas, the damage to Olive's skin was already done. Our girl is apparently severely allergic to the flea bites and her skin erupted in protest.

I took Olive to the vet the next day and discovered that she had hot spots (a bacterial skin infection) which had to be treated with a crude hair cut, 3 prescription medicines and a very uncomfortable and heart-wrenchingly sad lampshade collar. As if that wasn't enough, I had also noticed that he right ear was irritated and gunky - the Vet confirmed that she also had a double infection in her right ear. That's right - 2 different kinds of infection. In one ear.

I left the Vet with a handful of prescriptions, a long list of notes, a lampshade collar and a confused and bum-shaven pup. I was sad, stressed and guilt-ridden which was only amplified by the sight of poor Olive trying to navigate around with that awful lampshade on her head.


Olive recovered quickly with the help of 5 medications and 2 very concerned parents. Her back is healed and her fur is growing back. She now needs to be on year-round preventative flea treatment (Comfortis) which she takes orally once a month. And, much to her chagrin, a weekly bath with some medicated shampoo.

Oh, and did I mention that Luke was on crutches for all of this? As if Olive's condition wasn't going to be enough to deal with.

The weekend prior to Olive's flea-diagnosis, Luke played in his first soccer game back from his broken left leg. Partway through the game, I get a phone call that started with the phrase "I think I broke my ankle". I'm sorry - WHAT?!

I took Luke to get an x-ray the next day and thankfully his ankle was not broken; but he had suffered a gnarly sprain that rendered him immobile without crutches. It's been a few weeks and Luke is back among the nimble. However, not without a good deal of ice, ibuprofen, limping and (dare I say) whining. He plays in his next soccer game at 2:00 today and (barring any heavy rain) Olive and I will be right there cheering him on. She with her team-colored bandanna and me with an ulcer.

You just can't keep a good man (or dog for that matter) down.

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